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How to get a job in radio

Tips for graduates looking for a job in radio.

In order to get a job, you have to know where you would like to work. Listening to radio is crucial to make this decision. Having made this decision, persistence is key. A common theme for graduates now working in radio is that constant phone calls (just short of harassment!) and sometimes literally ‘banging on doors’ were necessary to get that first contact.

It is important to meet if possible, rather than writing or making a phone call. A portfolio on tape or CD to bring to meetings is essential. This should reflect a variety of styles, introduce some music, some news, weather, and interviews. Your portfolio should also be included with your CV in job applications.

  • Start small – try local or community stations.
  • Seek volunteer or internship positions. Bear in mind that there can be heavy competition even for unpaid work. If you work as a volunteer, you can find out if you really want this job or not.
  • Don’t be picky about the type of work – even manning the phones can teach a lot.

Applications and interviews

In the field of radio, work experience can often lead to a first job. In these cases, interview processes will be quite informal.

In the case of more formal interview processes, calls for interviews are often based on portfolios. This is your tool to sell yourself.

For broadcasting, interviewers may try to test if you can react quickly and appropriately if put on the spot. This is not about giving a wrong or right answer, but to ascertain your ability to think on your feet.

On CVs, employers are generally looking for experience over qualifications. Any experience with college/community stations can be included to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills.